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mdf



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Topic # 27077 13-Oct-2008 15:04
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Hi all

I will shortly be starting a relatively long term home renovation project (hoping to have the house done within the next 18 months or so). As part of this, I would like to upgrade the wiring in the house, specifically installing a home network/LAN. 

I've read quite a bit already posted in this forum about what can and cannot be done over network cable with or without various adaptors, whether it is worth running coax at well as netwrok cable etc. etc. And while I'm now full of plans and ideas, because of the long term nature of my renovations, I am a bit wary about doing something now that I will regret later. In particular, there seem to be some systems out there that will handle audio, video etc. all over one cable (e.g. PDL LexCom home network system). However, there also seem to be some views posted on this forum that such systems are not all that they are cracked up to be. So for now, I'd like to keep this as flexible as possible.

That said, the gib is coming off the walls of the bedrooms in a couple of weeks, so I need to do something pretty soon in these rooms at least.

Fortunately for me, I have really really good access under my house (one story, so basically have underfloor access to every room), so I am currently considering just putting mounting boxes and face plates in the walls while the gib is off, with some cable pull throughs to actually run the cable when I decide what to do. When I'm ready, I can run the appropriate cable under the house and pull up through to the mounting box and terminate with an appropriate jack.

Is there anything wrong with this plan? Should I run some sort of conduit pipe up through the floor to the mounting box?
Or is this being too cautious?

Right now, my needs are fairly basic. The living room has all of the TV, DVD, set top box etc., as well as a cordless phone straight into what is probably the main telephone jack. There couple of PCs that are currently networked to a router (one wired, one wirelessly), with a TelstraClear cable modem. The wiring for all of these has evolved over the years, with assorted wires and cables running up, down, through and over various bits and pieces of walls and skirting (the TelstraClear jacks are particularly ugly and obvious). 

I'd like to tidy up all this wiring so its at least not visible, but other than that have no immediate plans to move TVs, telephones etc. to bedrooms, but I am well aware that this may be necessary in the future.


Any advice about what to do now and what to leave for later would be most appreciated.

As a slight aside, the phone is also with TelstraClear, but we hardly use this so am looking at options of just doing away with it entirely, or moving to a VoIP solution. If I went with a VoIP solution (currently looking at WXC after high reviews here), can I run a POTS phone over CAT (probably 5e) to the router/adaptor? I am fairly certain this is possible, but don't know how to do it? Can I just terminate a CAT5e cable with a BT or RJ45 phone jack?


EDIT: inserted double para spaces

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  Reply # 170861 13-Oct-2008 15:21
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My first peice of advice - is to determine what cables if any are actually necessary.  All IP traffic can now be run successfully over a wireless network, offering you much more flexibility than running cables everywhere.  It is highly unlikely that you are doing anything that requires 100Mbps+ of traffic to more than 3 client devices simultaneously.

By the time you factor in all your cable, termination points, and labour costs for doing the cabling, you can probably justify a lot of the cost in the wireless access points.  With an appropriate system, you can provide ubiquitous wireless coverage for any sized house.

This offers additional advantages of being able to run VoWLAN anywhere in your house without having DECT phones interfering with your wireless.

Having said this, if you have to run cables for non IP related traffic anyway, then there are no labour savings by not including a Cat5 cable as well.

If you want to connect POTS phones to a VOIP system, most VOIP routers you can purchase will have 1 or 2 jacks for POTS phones.  You cannot simply change the plug on the end of a Cat5 cable and expect it to work.  Analogue POTS phones cannot talk using the ethernet protocol.


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  Reply # 170865 13-Oct-2008 15:41
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IMHO wireless is not a replacement for cat5e cabling. It's complementary.

The throughput of wireless simply can't come close to ethernet for big file transfers and you can forget about wireless for streaming any form of HD video. Draft 802.11n will give you added bandwidth but it's still not a replacement. cat5e has the advantage that it's not just for IP traffic - it is capable of carrything a myriad of signals as you are aware.

My suggestion would be to ensure that you use 25mm holes as pulling additional wire though is dead simple. If you're somewhere where you think you may want more cables (ie near a main TV setup) then drill another 25mm hole nearby and leave draw wires running through both of these. Make sure these holes are reasonably well sealed if they have wires coming from them - you don't want rats/mice climbing inside the walls of your house! Once the holes and draw wire are there running the cable is very easy indeed.


This offers additional advantages of being able to run VoWLAN anywhere in your house without having DECT phones interfering with your wireless.


DECT does not interfere with WiFi. They operate on entirely different bands - 1.9GHz for DECT and 2.4GHz for WiFi. There some dodgy DECT devices using 2.4GHz but these are not actually fully complaint with the DECT standard.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 170876 13-Oct-2008 16:16
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Thanks for the helpful responses.

Sorry, was not clear about the VoIP:

iainw:

If you want to connect POTS phones to a VOIP system, most VOIP routers you can purchase will have 1 or 2 jacks for POTS phones.  You cannot simply change the plug on the end of a Cat5 cable and expect it to work.  Analogue POTS phones cannot talk using the ethernet protocol.




Assuming I have the VoIP router somewhere central, how do I run cables from this to the wall jacks? i.e. say the router is in the study, and I want a phone in the bedroom, what cabling do I run from the VOIP router to the bedroom? What jack should I terminate in the bedroom?

I would have thought that ethernet cable would have been okay for this? Its all twisted pair cabling, same as ordinary telephone cable? There's just a couple of extra pairs in ethernet cable? I guess this is overkill, but I'd prefer to limit the different types of cable I run.

Or have I totally misunderstood this, and there's something more fundamentally different inside between telephone cable and ethernet cable?

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  Reply # 170878 13-Oct-2008 16:20
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sbiddle:

IMHO wireless is not a replacement for cat5e cabling. It's complementary.



Networks of up to 15,000 users have been successfully implemented using a "no wires" policy - Motorola globally, Manipal University in India.  Obviously the network core is still running high throughput fibre cables within the NOC, but for distribution and access layer, these are now only required for specific uses.


The throughput of wireless simply can't come close to ethernet for big file transfers and you can forget about wireless for streaming any form of HD video. Draft 802.11n will give you added bandwidth but it's still not a replacement. cat5e has the advantage that it's not just for IP traffic - it is capable of carrything a myriad of signals as you are aware.


See the following links for a discussion of successfully streaming HD video over 802.11g
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=983224  Blu-ray allows peaks of up to 40Mbps throughput.  This is borderline for 802.11g which can cause erratic errors - only appears choppy when it actually peaks to 40Mbps - but is easily within the capabilities of suitable 802.11n equipment.  Already 600Mbps throughput is available from commercial products, expect this to be closer to 900Mbps by early 2009.  The issue with streaming not working is not with the wireless, it is with the way people try to use it. 

802.11a/b/g/n is absolutely unsuitable if you require non-IP traffic, however you should be investigating your requirements for non-IP traffic.  Security cameras are IP, voice is IP, data is IP.... 

IMHO, for any deployment, you should consider what you need to get out of your network, and how much the various options will cost.  The days of simply assuming that cables are neccessary are gone.


DECT does not interfere with WiFi. They operate on entirely different bands - 1.9GHz for DECT and 2.4GHz for WiFi. There some dodgy DECT devices using 2.4GHz but these are not actually fully complaint with the DECT standard.



I concede, it may not comply to DECT standards, but that doesn't mean it won't cause interference.  "DECT" phones are available at 900MHz, 1.9MHz, 2.4GHz, 3.8GHz, 5.8GHz.  I'm fairly certain nobody asks if it complies with ETS 300 175 before they buy their preferred cordless phone.

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  Reply # 170881 13-Oct-2008 16:24
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iainw: 

I concede, it may not comply to DECT standards, but that doesn't mean it won't cause interference.  "DECT" phones are available at 900MHz, 1.9MHz, 2.4GHz, 3.8GHz, 5.8GHz.  I'm fairly certain nobody asks if it complies with ETS 300 175 before they buy their preferred cordless phone.


:)

I'd ask, but I'm not that confident of getting an answer better than a blank look...

:)

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  Reply # 170882 13-Oct-2008 16:25
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As long as you wire the termination jacks correctly - you are right, Cat5 should work fine - although cabling is certainly not my area of expertise so don't take my word for it.

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  Reply # 170884 13-Oct-2008 16:27
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:)

I'd ask, but I'm not that confident of getting an answer better than a blank look...

:)


I'm almost tempted to ask just for the amusement factor... ;-)

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  Reply # 170887 13-Oct-2008 16:39
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Whilst wireless will be improving and evolving at heady speeds, when the Gibs off the walls its hard to go past a wired solution at 30odd cents/metre and Keystones only a few $ each. Assuming its (cat5e that is) corrently installed, you get guaranteed 100Mb/s or GigE non stop performance to any location that you wire to at only a small portion of the cost compared to the Wireless hardware equivalent.

Cyril

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  Reply # 170891 13-Oct-2008 16:51
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cyril7: Whilst wireless will be improving and evolving at heady speeds, when the Gibs off the walls its hard to go past a wired solution at 30odd cents/metre and Keystones only a few $ each. Assuming its (cat5e that is) corrently installed, you get guaranteed 100Mb/s or GigE non stop performance to any location that you wire to at only a small portion of the cost compared to the Wireless hardware equivalent.

Cyril


True - wiring hardware is very cheap - however this is not the only cost. 
 - How much is your time worth?
 - How much is it worth to your wife not to have network jacks all over her house?
 - How much is it worth to you not to have to crawl under the house if a cable ever needs replacing?

A single 802.11n access point can enable up to 300Mbps to almost every corner in an averaged sized house.  And whats more, it probably takes you 20 minutes to do so.  How long would it take you to lay cables - even with the gib off, to everywhere in your house that you want connectivity? 

And doing it this way means you have no mobility.  Sure you could then plug in an access point, but that defeats the purpose of laying cables to save the cost of an access point....

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  Reply # 170893 13-Oct-2008 17:01
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Ian, I agree and am very farmilar with the technology have worked in RF engineering for over 20yrs, however I personally would still ensure I had some level of cabling in place, we dont own our own potion of the ISM bands, would be a bugger if new neighbours from hell shifted in an soiled my spectrum.

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  Reply # 170896 13-Oct-2008 17:13
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iainw: Networks of up to 15,000 users have been successfully implemented using a "no wires" policy - Motorola globally, Manipal University in India.  Obviously the network core is still running high throughput fibre cables within the NOC, but for distribution and access layer, these are now only required for specific uses.
simply assuming that cables are neccessary are gone.



There is also a very significant difference running a fully managed enterprise grade Wifi solution from the likes of Motorola/Symbol or Cisco and running several consumer grape AP's at home. That's really like compring apples with oranges and saying they are the same thing because they are both fruits.



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  Reply # 170899 13-Oct-2008 17:19
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mdf:

Assuming I have the VoIP router somewhere central, how do I run cables from this to the wall jacks? i.e. say the router is in the study, and I want a phone in the bedroom, what cabling do I run from the VOIP router to the bedroom? What jack should I terminate in the bedroom?



You should be running all your structured cabling back to a central point. This point is where your modem/ata/switch etc would be located. If you install a patch panel you just need to patch the output from the ATA into a port and you've got a phone there.

Or have I totally misunderstood this, and there's something more fundamentally different inside between telephone cable and ethernet cable?


Regular phone cable and cat5 cable are very similair. Most phone cable is rates to cat3 standards so cat5e cable is a higher grade. It works fine for phone.

I wrote a few guides here for cabling in a new house if you hadn't seen them already pt1 pt2 pt3

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